UNIBEN VC outlines criteria to thwart cultism in tertiary institutions

Prof. Lilian Salami, Vice Chancellor, University of Benin (UNIBEN), says having surveillance mechanism as well as study and work initiatives will help curb cultism in higher institutions nationwide. Salami also said that the provision of recreational facilities and promotion of religious activities in tertiary institutions would keep students away from social vices. The vice chancellor was speaking during the inauguration of the Police Campaign Against Cultism And Other Vices (POCACOV) on Thursday in Benin. Represented by Mr Emmanuel Obarisiagbon, Associate Professor of Criminology in UNIBEN, the VC said that cultism had become a worrisome household name that needs to be addressed holistically. “If we do not do something about cultism now, it will move to the primary schools as it is already in secondary schools.
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“It appears at the surface to be attractive to those whose friends are involved, but it is very dangerous. “For us in UNIBEN, we have set up a surveillance team that patrols the school premises. We also have informants who dress like students and feed us with information relating to cultism. “Having students work within the school premises to augment their finances as they study as well as promoting religious activities in tertiary institutions help in engaging students’ minds positively,” she said. According to her, cultism affects the academic sector negatively as it leads to poor academic performance, school drop outs and distruption of the academic calendars.
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She listed some of the rationales for joining cults to include peer pressure, parental factors and moral decadence, saying all hands must be on deck to curb the menace. Earlier, Edo Commissioner of Police, Mr Muhammed Dankwara, said the inauguration of POCACOV in the state was apt as it would help sensitise members of the public on the dangers of cultism “POCACOV emphasises the need to fight against criminal elements with the instrument of the law. “It has been launched in some states of the country, and we will not rest on our oars until POCACOV is effectively implemented and achieved its aims in the state,” he said.
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He also urged members of the public to join the police to fight social vices as well as make the state peaceful. According to Uyi Osunde, Youth Ambassador of Edo POCACOV, most of the social vices start from the home when children exhibit aggressive behaviours such as telling their friends to join them in beating up siblings. Osunde, a student of Redeemer Secondary school, Benin, called on parents and guardians to instil discipline in their wards as well as uphold moral standards. The high point of the event was the inauguration of POCACOV National Youth Service Corps Community Development Service in the state. The event was tagged” “Cultism: A menace and Threat to the Nation’s Education and Economy” and was attended by relevant stakeholders and students from over 10 secondary schools in the state.

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